NEW DELHI: Union minister Prakash Javadekar today defended senior BJP MLA KG Bopaiah's appointment as the pro tem speaker of the Karnataka Assembly to conduct the crucial floor test tomorrow and dismissed the Congress' protest over it as a "hoax objection".
Javadekar, BJP's Karnataka Assembly polls in-charge, also noted that Bopaiah was given the same responsibility by the then governor in 2008.
Bopaiah, who as the speaker of the Karnataka Assembly had disqualified 16 MLAs and bailed out the B S Yeddyurappa government ahead of a no-confidence vote in 2010, was today appointed the pro-tem speaker today.
"K G Bopaiah was appointed as pro tem speaker even in 2008 by the then Governor.
That time Bopaiah was 10 years younger than what he is today.
The Congress is thus raising hoax objection.
The appointment of Bopaiah Ji is as per rules and regulations," Javadekar tweeted.
"When Rameshwar Thakur as Governor had appointed Bopaiah as pro tem speaker of Karnataka in 2008, Congress didn't object.
In Jharkhand, when a junior MLA was appointed, Cong leader A M Singhvi defended it in court. Now they are objecting. This is Congress hypocrisy," he said.
The Congress-JD (S) combine is contemplating approaching the Supreme Court to challenge Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to appoint Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker, arguing that he is not the senior most MLA.
Bopaiah, who was the speaker between 2009 and 2013, is considered close to Yeddyurappa.
The Supreme Court had in 2011 quashed Bopaiah's decision to disqualify 16 MLAs ahead of the no-confidence motion which had ensured the survival of the Yeddyurappa government.
The apex court had then said that basic constitutional values and principles of natural justice were not observed by Bopaiah in disqualifying the 11 rebel BJP and five independent legislators.
Javadekar also expressed confidence that the BJP will prove its majority in the Assembly tomorrow.
The party has won 104 seats and needs the support of at least seven more MLAs to secure a majority in the 222-member assembly.
H D Kumaraswamy has won from two seats, thus bringing down the number of MLAs to 221.